Donate now to our Visa Cost Emergency Campaign - and get your gift matched! Apr 14, 2011

by Jessica

On the Boards needs to raise over $5,000 to cover the costs of our unexpected struggle to obtain visas to bring Obie Award-winning French theater company Vivarium Studio to OtB.  As of this morning, we've raised $475 towards this goal. OtB board member Josef Vascovitz has generously offered a $1,000 matching gift challenge - $500 to match the first $500 donations we receive, and $500 more if we can raise the same amount from new, first-time donors.

As of 5 pm on April 14, the first day of the campaign, OtB needs just $25 more to complete the first matching gift challenge and bring our total up to $1,100; and $375 more in donations from new donors to complete the second matching challenge.

Especially if you've never given to On the Boards before, can you help us receive the full matching gifts by making a donation of any size today?

We worked tirelessly to petition the US Citizenship & Immigration Services to let Vivarium Studio to enter the US and perform in Seattle. OtB programs international artists like Vivarium Studio because we believe Seattle deserves access to artistic pioneers. So we weren't about to give up easily when the visas were denied.
You can read coverage of our trials and tribulations from The Stranger and from The SunBreak – and our blog details much of it here, here and here. It's a struggle that has lasted 4 months, and kicked into overdrive when their visas were denied on April 1.

We consulted immigration lawyers, mobilized the amazing offices of some of our congressional delegation (Rep. Jim McDermott and Senator Patty Murray), and contacted the French Embassy for help. We even faxed Janet Napolitano (the head of Homeland Security) and Alejandro Mayorkas (head of the Department of Immigration).
Eventually, we triumphed over the labyrinthine visa process and got Vivarium Studio approved for entry into the US at the last minute - only
to incur over $5,000 in airline change fees for the performers' travel that we could never have planned for.
You can see that it's complex and financially risky for us to program international artists, but we're willing to take those risks because we believe Seattle audiences should be able to experience the most compelling voices in performance from around the world.
If you feel the same way, please make a contribution to OtB to help us handle these unexpected expenses.
We're a small (but mighty) organization that operates on slim margins – and $5,000 has a significant impact on us.  Any size gift will help!

Thanks so much-
Team OtB